Information Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Information Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updates about school closure are posted here. Please read the latest family messages from Dr. Borchers below. 

See tabs below for additional information. We will keep these continually updated throughout the school closure.

The Tennessee Department of Education is working closely with ACT, Inc. to ensure that all students in the 2021 cohort have two opportunities to take the ACT, same as prior cohorts. To this end, ACT is providing a range of options and testing flexibility to students, schools, and districts. We are grateful for the feedback we‘ve received from many superintendents, district testing coordinators, principals, school coordinators, and the Assessment Advisory Committee.

Please see the linked document below for further information.

ACT Guidance for Tennessee Districts and Schools

Your Co

AP Computer Science Resources

Laptops and Free Online Resources Available to AP Computer Science Students  

Audience: Directors of Schools, CTE Directors, Secondary Supervisors, Principals
ContactDeborah.Knoll@tn.gov

Amazon will now begin offering comprehensive support and new online learning resources for high school students in preparation for at-home AP Computer Science exams.
Amazon is committed to supporting high school computer science students in need across the country as part of its Amazon Future Engineer program. In response to COVID-19, they are immediately making the following free resources available:

  • Free Online Computer Science Courses: 
    • Amazon Future Engineer is opening up free online access for all to our sponsored Edhesive curriculum for both AP Computer Science Principles and AP Computer Science A courses. Students, parents, and teachers can access these courses here.
  • Laptop Donation: 
    • Amazon is donating 4,000 laptops to AP computer science students who otherwise do not have access to a device at home to take the exams. Students receiving laptops will get to keep them to support their educational journey beyond the COVID-19 outbreak. Students without a laptop at home can apply through College Board.
  • Free Online Test Prep: 
    • Nonprofit CodeVA, with the support of Amazon Future Engineer, will begin offering free, online AP Computer Science test prep sessions leading up to the AP exams open to all preparing. Students can participate in the twice-weekly prep sessions here.

For more information or questions, please contact Deborah Knoll, director of K12 programs and STEM Initiative

ntent Goes Here

City of Oak Ridge, Kroger Health offering drive-through COVID-19 testing at Oak Ridge High School

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (April 10, 2020) – The City of Oak Ridge and Kroger Health are teaming up to host free drive-through testing for COVID-19 in Oak Ridge on April 15, 16, and 17.

On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, April 15-17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., people with symptoms of the coronavirus can schedule an appointment through Kroger Health to be screened at the Oak Ridge High School parking lot.

“It is essential that testing be increased in order to fight this deadly virus,” Oak Ridge Mayor Warren Gooch stated. “This testing will help us determine the degree of spread within the Oak Ridge community and surrounding area. Oak Ridge faces a unique challenge because we host thousands of workers and commuters to travel across our city every day.”

Per CDC guidelines, the only people who will be tested are people with symptoms or healthcare workers and first responders who have been exposed to the virus. Symptoms include fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

Before attending the testing site, patients will be asked to schedule an appointment via Kroger Health’s online portal at www.krogerhealth.com/covidtesting.

“Kroger Health is proud to partner with the Anderson County Health Department in this important effort to combat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Colleen Lindholz, President of Kroger Health. “This aligns perfectly with our vision, which is to help people live healthier lives.”

Scheduling an appointment is required to receive a test.

People with appointments may enter the testing site at the Oak Ridge High School parking lot off the North Tulane Avenue entrance. Everyone who arrives should ensure all windows are up when in the testing area and have a photo ID ready. Kroger Health Associates will guide patients through the testing process.

Test results can be expected within 3 to 7 days, and Kroger Health is working to partner with labs that offer even faster turnaround time.

“This testing period will be a superb opportunity for us to develop data on the degree of spread that is a concern to all of us,” Mayor Gooch said. “We are sincerely grateful to Kroger Health for partnering with us in this critical health and safety effort for the Oak Ridge community.”

“We want to thank Dr. Borchers, Bruce Lay, and Principal McDonald for allowing this to take place,” Oak Ridge Fire Chief Darryl Kerley said.

The Oak Ridge City Schools food pickup line will be temporarily moved to the Band entrance of the school building during this 3-day event.

COVID-19 Testing

New Cross Boundary and Tuition Applications

Applications for new cross boundary and new tuition students will available beginning April 27 – May 15th.  Applications will be available online.  You will need to print the application, complete it, and attach the requested information.   Mail the application to Pupil Services.  The address is listed on the application.  Applications can also be emailed, scanned, or faxed to Pupil Services, ATTN: Dr. Henderson.  Her email address is Lhenderson@ortn.edu, fax – 865-425-9061.


When available, open enrollment for new cross boundary applications and new tuition applications will be available on the Oak Ridge School’s website, each school mail office, and Pupil Services. Notification of acceptance and/or denial will be mailed to parents after the new open enrollment period begins. New tuition rates will be available for non-resident students after the August School Board meeting. Once the new rates have been approved, you will receive a tuition contract regarding payment in September. If you have any questions, please call Pupil Services at 865-425-9009 or email Dr. Larrissa Henderson. lhenderson@ortn.edu

Meal Service Update

May 15, 2020

Hello families of Oak Ridge,

I want to let you know that we are making a few important changes to our food service schedule as follows:

Beginning May 18th :

We will no longer be serving meals at the following neighborhood locations:

  • First Christian Church on the west end of the Turnpike
  • Children’s Museum of Oak Ridge
  • Teller Village Apartments
  • Manhattan Apartments

We will continue to serve neighborhood meals at

  • MacKenzie Apartments, from 12:00 – 12:30 p.m. each day; and
  • Oak Ridge Schools Preschool, from 11:30 – 12:30 each day.

Meals will continue on a regular schedule at three school locations from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., Monday-Friday, including;

  • Glenwood Elementary School;
  • Robertsville Middle School; and
  • Oak Ridge High School.

All sites will be closed for Memorial Day, Monday, May 25th.

Be watching and listening for our communications with information regarding our summer feeding program in the near future.

This message will be available for families to read for review in its entirety at www.ortn.edu on our COVID-19 web page.

Thank you,

Dr. Bruce Borchers, Superintendent of Oak Ridge Schools

Update About Food Service

April 24, 2020

Dear families,

We are pleased to let you know that food distribution sites at Oak Ridge High School and our new Oak Ridge Schools Preschool and will reopen on Monday, April 27th.  We want to assure all families that our building maintenance staff thoroughly cleaned these two buildings, and as a top priority, we are implementing CDC guidelines with all staff members who are preparing and distributing food.

As always, it is our hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent

April 20, 2020

It is our hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.  We are writing to let you know that we recently learned that a staff member who was volunteering with our food distribution sites last week has tested positive for COVID-19.

As a result of this information, the Oak Ridge High School and Oak Ridge Schools Preschool buildings will be closed for the remainder of this week. If you have been receiving meals at Oak Ridge High School, we recommend going to Robertsville Middle School to pick up meals. If you have been receiving meals at Oak Ridge Schools Preschool, we recommend going to Glenwood Elementary School to pick up meals.

We also want to assure you that our building maintenance staff will thoroughly clean the two buildings so that they will re-open for food distribution on Monday, April 27th. Experts advise that the COVID-19 virus survives on surfaces for fewer than 5 days.

Finally, Governor Lee stated in his Stay at Home Order, “I have updated my previous executive order to clearly require that Tennesseans stay at home unless they are carrying out essential activities.”

Again, it is our hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent


Update About School Closure

April 16, 2020

Hello, this is Dr. Bruce Borchers, Superintendent of the Oak Ridge Schools.

As you most likely know, yesterday, Governor Lee announced that he is recommending all Tennessee K-12 schools remain closed through the remainder of the school year in order to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and ensure the health and safety of all Tennesseans. The Oak Ridge Schools will obviously comply with his recommendation and will be closed for the remainder of this academic school year. The Oak Ridge Schools will be closed through May 29th, the last day of this school year.

We would like to remind families that typically, at this time of year in Oak Ridge Schools, teachers and students would be in the classrooms preparing for TCAP and Advanced Placement exams. The testing period for these exams occurs in the second part of April, and after that, students would normally be participating in continued learning experiences that reinforce the yearlong learning.

While our buildings are closed as a result of COVID-19, we want to continue to support quality learning opportunities for student success. Oak Ridge Schools will begin this next phase of learning online on April 27.  Final grades will be calculated from terms 1-3 and students will have opportunities to improve final grades with required assignments.  School administrators will be sharing more information about student requirements for the next phase of online learning on April 20.

Recently, the State Board of Education voted on various items like how to determine grades for the school year, credits at the high school level, testing, and online learning. A full description of these items, as well as updated aligned policies approved by the Oak Ridge Schools Board of Education can be found on our website. See the section titled “Emergency Suspension of Board Policies.”

I encourage everyone to go to our webpage for coronavirus updates and follow our district on social media: Twitter/Instagram: @ORSchools and Facebook: @OakRIdgeSchoolsTN. The TN Department of Education has a helpful web page with coronavirus updates as well.

To the class of 2020, I want to offer a personal note of congratulations for your many successes in your time with us in Oak Ridge Schools. We are keeping you especially in mind, and looking for ways to ensure you are celebrated in unique and special ways under our current circumstances.

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Superintendent

Oak Ridge Schools

btborchers@ortn.edu


Update About Meal Service and Learning Packet Pick-Up

Updated Friday, 4/3/2020

This message is for those who are participating in meal service at our schools and neighborhood sites and also for parents of elementary school students interested in picking up learning packets.

Beginning Monday, April 6, 2020, volunteers will be distributing breakfast and lunch from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at the NEW Preschool, Glenwood Elementary School, Robertsville Middle School, and Oak Ridge High School.   At our neighborhood sites including The Children’s Museum, Manhattan Apartments, McKenzie Apartments, and Teller Village Apartments breakfast and lunch will be distributed from 12:00 – 12:30 pm.

Starting Monday, April 6th we will be adding  First Christian Church located at 100 Gum Hollow Road as a meal distribution site. Meals will be distributed from 12:00-12:30 at this new site.

All sites will be closed on Friday, April 10th in observance of the Good Friday holiday. Meals for Friday through Sunday of that week will be available for pickup at all of our sites on Thursday, April 9th.

Finally, beginning Monday, April 6, paper copies of elementary school learning packets as well as books for students to read will be available for pickup during meal distribution at the previously mentioned locations and times.

Please stay healthy and safe. Dr. Borchers

Message to Glenwood Families

Update from 4/1/2020

This message was sent out to the Glenwood staff, for your information:

Dear staff,

It is our hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.  Unfortunately, the inevitable has occurred and we are writing to let you know that we recently learned that a staff member at Glenwood has tested positive for COVID-19. The individual reported having felt ill at the beginning of spring break, more than 14 days ago, and now reports to have completely recovered after a mild case of the virus.  We have been told that the positive test results were actually reported to our colleague after recovery.

We are unaware of anyone else who had contact with this staff member prior to diagnosis who has also shown symptoms by the time of this writing.  As you probably know, we have all been advised by the CDC that symptoms arise between 2 and 14 days after exposure and this individual has not been in the school for more than 14 days.  In addition, we have been following, and will continue to follow, proper protocol for this situation, including:

  • Confirming this case with the Anderson County Health Department;
  • Communicating possible COVID-19 exposure to the school community; and
  • Protecting the identity of the individual.

We also want to assure you that our building maintenance staff has thoroughly cleaned the Glenwood building as well as every other school and facility in the Oak Ridge system.  Experts advise that the COVID-19 virus survives on surfaces for fewer than 5 days, and our district personnel have been stringently cleaning all Oak Ridge facilities during our 14-day spring break.

Finally, Governor Lee with his Safer at Home Executive Order is “urging people to stay home and stay apart. We need you to do that, to protect the lives of your neighbors, and to protect the lives of our citizens… we need you to stay home where at all possible.”

Again, it is our hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent

Update About Online Learning

3/27/2020

Dear Oak Ridge Schools Families,

I hope you and your family are well and you have found some extra opportunities to rest during this abnormal Spring Break.  We have been working daily to prepare for the unknown, and are hoping our families and students will benefit greatly from the efforts our teachers will be pouring into creating resources for the remainder of our school year.

While I know that online learning cannot replace the power of face-to-face instruction or the effectiveness of teacher relationships with students, I feel very fortunate that we have quality staff who will still offer support to students in a work-from-home model.  We will transition slowly with simple extended learning opportunities, knowing we cannot fully replicate or replace the face-to-face experience we enjoy in our normal daily routine.  We will start with the tools we already have in place and that we know students can easily access.  Please be assured that student privacy will be maintained with all types of communication.

We are anticipating more guidance from Tennessee Department of Education related to high school course credits, high school graduation requirements, and equitable access for all students.  Our principals will communicate changes and updates as we navigate this fluid situation.

Teachers will be creating content during the designated period of April 1-3.  Extended learning opportunities for students will begin on April 6.  Look for additional communication from principals next week.  I feel confident that the learning opportunities for teachers and students will lead to better resources and stronger instructional practices when we are able to return to classrooms.  Please prioritize your health and care for your family during this time.

Sincerely,

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Superintendent

Update About School Closure

3/25/2020

As I mentioned earlier, there was a possibility that the governor would extend the closure of schools in Tennessee. Just recently, we received word that Governor Lee has recommended school districts remain closed through April 24. We obviously will comply with this closure.

We continue to work on instructional learning plans due to this extended school closure due to COVID-19. More information will be shared about our plans in the near future.

I encourage everyone to go to our webpage for coronavirus updates as we receive them.

Please take care of each other and stay healthy.

_____________

From 3/24/2020

Dear Oak Ridge Schools Families,

I want you to know that my executive team and I have been meeting virtually to discuss the ever-changing landscape in our state, country, and world. We have also been working the Anderson County Health Department as well as participating in numerous calls with Commissioner Schwinn.

This week, the TN Legislators in the Education Committee voted on a proposal to ensure that no schools or students are adversely affected due to school closures, student absenteeism, or other hardships related to COVID-19.  Following the passage of this bill, Oak Ridge Schools will not administer the 2019-20 TNReady and end-of course assessments.  Oak Ridge schools will seek multiple waivers for numerous requirements for the 2019-2020 school year. A full list of these are here:

• 2019-20 spring administration of the TNReady and end-of-course assessments.
• 2019-20 portfolio assessment
• Teacher evaluation growth scores based on 2019-20 assessments, including alternative growth scores such as portfolios.
• Student final grades being comprised in part by 2019-20 assessments.
• School and district accountability based on 2019-20 assessments.
• 2019-20 Civics test required to earn a diploma
• The 11th grade postsecondary readiness assessment for the 2019-20 school year.
• Additionally, we are waiting on further guidance from TDOE on the following item:

    • The state board of education shall revise high school graduation requirements to ensure that no high school seniors on track for graduation affected by spring 2019-20 school closures are adversely affected.

In the event that schools are required to close for an extended period due to COVID-19, we want to continue to support quality learning opportunities for student success. More information will be shared about our plans in the near future.

I encourage everyone to go to our webpage for Coronavirus updates and follow our district on social media: Twitter: @ORSchools Facebook: @OakRIdgeSchoolsTN and Instagram: ORSchools. The TN Department of Education has web page with Coronavirus updates as well.

I hope you all are taking care of each other and staying healthy,

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Superintendent

Resolution – Emergency Suspension of Board Policies

WHEREAS, TCA 49-2-203 authorizes local boards of education to govern their respective districts, including adopting, revising, and suspending local board policies;

WHEREAS, on April 2, 2020, Governor Bill Lee signed Public Chapter 652 which removed the requirement for TCAP testing and allowed the State Board of Education to promulgate necessary rules to address issues created by COVID-19 in the 2019-2020 school year;

WHEREAS, on April 9, 2020, the State Board of Education revised several rules and policies in response to COVID-19 effective only for the 2019-2020 school year;

WHEREAS, changes made by the State Board of Education conflict with certain current local board policies;

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the ______Oak Ridge Schools____ Board of Education hereby suspends the following policies or provisions of its policies for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year, including but not limited to those identified below, to the extent that they conflict with Public Chapter 652 or State Board of Education policies or rules and regulations for the 2019-2020 school year:

  • Policy 4.600 – Grading System
    1. Students taking courses for high school credit shall receive no grade lower than the grade they earned in the course as of March 13, 2020. Additionally, Students taking post-secondary courses are not required to participate in the associated exam in order to receive GPA weighting for Spring 2020.
  • Policy 4.605 – Graduation Requirements
    1. For the class of 2020, graduation requirements are modified as follows:
    2. Only 20 credits are required to graduate per State Board Education Rule 0520-01-03-.11;
    3. The requirements for the following are waived:
      1. ACT/SAT
      2. Civics exam
  • EOC exams
  1. Students scheduled to receive an occupational diploma in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year shall only be required to demonstrate one year of work experience.
  • Policy 4.700 – Testing Program
    1. Students shall not be required to take TCAP exams for the spring 2020 semester.
  • Policy 5.109 – Evaluation
    1. Level of overall effectiveness scores shall not be generated for educators in the 2019-2020 school year.
    2. Pre-kindergarten and kindergarten teachers shall not be evaluated using the growth portfolio model for the 2019-2020 school year.
    3. Any observations required by State Board of Education Policy 5.201 that were not completed during the 2019-2020 school year as a result of COVID-19 are not required.
    4. No student data from this year shall be allowed to negatively impact a teacher.
  • Policy 5.802 – Qualifications and Duties of the Director of Schools
    1. The Director of Schools may request an extension from the State Board of Education to report information that would impact educator licensure (e.g. alleged employee misconduct, discipline of employees for actions that violate the teacher code of ethics, etc.).
  • Policy 6.200 – Attendance
    1. Students may not be penalized for non-attendance of online courses.
    2. Non-attendance of online courses shall not count as unexcused absences and shall not be recorded. Further, students shall not be counted truant for failure to attend online courses.
  • [Insert other policies that the Board needs to suspend or modify based on State Board of Education action.]

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Director of Schools shall consult with the Board as feasible and appropriate and shall timely report to the Board regarding implementation of board policies in alignment with Public Chapter 652 and updated State Board Policies and Rules and Regulations.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Director of Schools will consult with the Board if he/she determines that additional policies or provisions of policies not contained in this resolution are found to conflict with current State Board rules or policies.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Director of Schools may apply for any waiver or extension that ensures consistency with this resolution, board policies, and Public Chapter 652 or the State Board of Education policies or rules and regulations implemented to effectuate Public Chapter 652.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Director of Schools shall inform the Board of any waiver or extension request made pursuant to this resolution.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that execution of this Resolution is conclusive evidence of the Board’s approval of this action and of the authority granted herein.

Adopted and approved this ________ day of _______________.

By: ________________________________________

Board Chair

Attest: ________________________________________

Director of Schools

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions will apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Please see the attachment for more information.

Poster in English

Poster in Spanish

Update 5/18/2020.

The Oak Ridge Flea Market is currently canceled through the end of June, 2020. The Oak Ridge Flea Market will keep the same procedures and guidelines as Oak Ridge Schools with regards to closing moving forward, and will therefore update Flea Market information when it is available. We appreciate the efforts and coordination of all vendors.

———

Reopening Sites

April 24, 2020

Dear families,

We are pleased to let you know that food distribution sites at Oak Ridge High School and our new Oak Ridge Schools Preschool and will reopen on Monday, April 27th.  We want to assure all families that our building maintenance staff thoroughly cleaned these two buildings, and as a top priority, we are implementing CDC guidelines with all staff members who are preparing and distributing food.

As always, it is our hope that you and your loved ones are healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Dr. Bruce Borchers

Oak Ridge Schools Superintendent

To volunteer for meal distribution:

For dates through April 24: www.tinyurl.com/ORSFoodVolunteer

For dates beginning April 27: www.tinyurl.com/ORSFood2

Update About Meal Service and Learning Packet Pickup

Updated Sunday, April 5, 2020

Breakfast and lunch served every weekday, with weekend meals available on most Fridays.

All sites will be closed on Friday, April 10th in observance of the Good Friday holiday. Meals for Friday through Sunday of that week will be available for pickup at all of our sites on Thursday, April 9th.

New hours at 9 sites:

From 11 am – 1 pm

  • NEW ORS Preschool -157 Carver Avenue
  • Glenwood Elementary School – 125 Audubon Road
  • Robertsville Middle School -245 Robertsville Road
  • Oak Ridge High School – 1450 Oak Ridge Turnpike

From 12:00 – 12:30 pm

  • Manhattan Apartments – 315 S. Rutgers Ave
  • McKenzie Apartments – 100 Utica Circle
  • Teller Village Apartments – 100 Teejay Dr
  • Children’s Museum – 461 W. Outer Drive
  • First Christian Church – 100 Gum Hollow Road

Beginning Monday, April 6, paper copies of elementary school learning packets as well as books for students to read will be available for pickup during meal distribution at the previously mentioned locations and times.

Instructions:

  1. All children must be present in order to receive meals.
  2. Drive up, or walk-up to the designated distribution area. Both a table, and signage will be present in the distribution area.
  3. Meals may be picked up from any of the listed distribution sites regardless of whether the child attends that particular school, or any of the Oak Ridge Schools or not.
  4. No identification, names, or applications are required.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Best regards,

Jenn

Jennifer L. Taylor | Aramark | Food Service Director | K-12 | Education

Information for Prevention

We continue to adhere to CDC recommendations:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds OR
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Continue to provide healthy and safe environments in our schools, using some of the newest technologies with proven EPA registered disinfectants

From the Tennessee Department of Health:
The Tennessee Department of Health is reporting daily all test results including confirmed or presumptive positive cases of COVID-19.  Here is a link to the site.

TDH is working closely with local health officials to support the ongoing investigations of COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, everyone can do their part to help respond to this emerging public health threat:

Use of facemasks in the U.S.

At this time, CDC does not recommend the use of facemasks or respirators among the general public. Masks should be reserved for people who are sick, so they can protect others from getting infected. If worn properly, a facemask helps block the spread of respiratory viruses by the wearer from spreading to other people and surfaces. Facemasks should be used once and then thrown away in the trash.

Internet Access

Do you need internet access for online learning?

Comcast – https://corporate.comcast.com/covid-19

  • Open WiFi-hotspots to all users, even non-Comcast subscribers.
  • No data caps – 60 days of unlimited access
  • No disconnect or late fees
  • Internet Essentials free to new customers – 60 days of Internet access for free – normally $9.99/month

AT&T – https://about.att.com/pages/COVID-19.html

  • No disconnections or late fees for customers
  • Free open WiFi hotspots
  • Unlimited data
  • Limited/fixed income residents and sign up as a new customer for $10/month.

Charter/Spectrum – https://corporate.charter.com/newsroom/charter-to-offer-free-access-to-spectrum-broadband-and-wifi-for-60-days-for-new-K12-and-college-student-households-and-more

  • Free broadband/WiFi for 60 days to home with K-12 and/or college students that do not already have a Spectrum account  (Call 1-844-488-8395)
  • Spectrum will open its WiFi hotspots for all public use.
  • No data caps

TDS Internet (large portions of East TN) – https://tdstelecom.com/about/news/categories/tds/CoronavirusStatement.html

Keeping the Beat: For our music teachers, the TN Music Education Association in partnership with the CMA Foundation, has a new engaging web series, Keeping the Beat, featuring interactive discussions led by guest music industry professionals and educators about wide-ranging topics in music including education, performance, administration, and advocacy. To learn more, click here.

Kindergarten Pre-Registration

Kindergarten registration information packets will be available at each elementary school during the week of May 4th – 8th, 2020. The registration packets will be available outside each school in clearly marked bins or boxes.

This is the first step in enrolling your child in elementary school.

Kindergarten pre-registration will take place May 11-15, 2020 during the hours of 1-4 PM.  You will turn in the completed information to school staff.  Please make sure you follow the directions on the purple information form inside the packet and bring those documents and/or copies with you.

You will receive other important information (such as transportation, school materials, school meals, etc.) on your child’s first day of school.

Link to Pupil Services web page:

Live Updates

INFORMATION ABOUT PHASE 2 OF REMOTE LEARNING – BEGINS MONDAY APRIL 27TH

Please find the following information below:

Phase 2 for Remote Learning

Student Locker Content Retrieval

Student Internet Access Availability

Phase 2 for Remote Learning:

We want to thank you for all of your efforts during Phase 1 of remote learning. It has been amazing to see the innovative ideas, lessons, resources and challenges that our students have completed during this time. As you know from Dr. Borchers district-wide message, due to the recommendation of Governor Lee we would remain closed for the remainder of the school year.

We want to keep our students engaged and involved in the learning process and also offer opportunities for them to help their grade. While our buildings are closed as a result of COVID-19, we want to continue to support quality learning opportunities for student success. To do this, Oak Ridge Schools will begin this next phase of learning online on April 27. Please read the information below to get a better understanding of how Phase 2 will work:

– Final grades will be calculated from terms 1-3. You can see students final grades in Skyward under FIN. Reflected in picture above in the top right corner.

– All students will have opportunities to improve final grades with required assignments.

– Final grades for 5th-8th grade students will be calculated for terms 1-3 through the final date March 13. No grades can be lowered.

-All students may submit new assignments to improve final grade. Students may earn 3 additional points (added to the final grade) each week, during the weeks listed below:

Week #1 April 27-1

Week #2 May 4-8

Week #3 May 11-15

Student Locker Content Retrieval

We are also in the process of finalizing details for students to pick up items from lockers and collection of items from students, such as library books. Please keep in mind that we are under the Governor’s Stay at Home order through April 30th. The health and safety of our students, families and staff will always be our number one priority. Once the Stay at Home order is lifted, we will put our plan into place and facilitate the collection process for the items listed above.

Student Internet Access Availability

As we continue to offer learning opportunities and move into Phase 2, it is important that all students have access to engage in these lessons. We ask that you please reach out to Ms. Jen Laurendine at jllaurendine@ortn.edu if you do not have access to the Internet at your residence or if you have concerns about access to these lessons.

Robertsville Middle School Online Learning Phase 2 Plan

Beginning on April 27, we will shift to a second phase of online learning.  During this phase, students will have opportunities to improve final grades with required assignments.  Final grades for 5th-8th grade students will be calculated by averaging term 1, term 2, and term 3 grades together (final date March 13).  No grades can be lowered.  Parents and students should be able to access their final grade on Skyward by April 24.

All students may submit new assignments to improve their final grade.  Students may earn 3 additional points each week, during the weeks listed below:

Week #1 April 27-1

Week #2 May 4-8

Week #3 May 11-15

Thus, students have the opportunity to raise their final grade by 9 total points.  All assignments must be turned in by May 17 at 11:59 PM.  Teachers have flexibility to create assignments during this time as they see fit.  For example, teachers may continue to provide a week’s worth of assignments in a similar fashion to our current online learning practice, or they may choose to assign a weeklong project.  Students must finish the assignment in its entirety in order to receive the 3 points for the week.  No partial credit will be given.

With this being said, we want all of our students to have the opportunity to improve their grades.  Please reach out if you are having issues with internet access or having any device issues.  We want to help address these needs.  I would also remind everyone that the school building is closed and if you have needs please contact our administrators via email at kwrenegar@ortn.edu, Ms. Free at ccfree@ortn.edu, or Mr. Garrison at mgarrison@ortn.edu with questions and concerns.

Also of great importance is our kickoff of online registration for the 2020-2021 school year.  We are asking that everyone submit the online registration for their student by May 1.  Please email our school counselors Ms. Kristy Best at kbest@ortn.edu or Ms. Tarah Sanford at tasanford@ortn.edu if you have any questions or concerns.

Rising 5th grade student information:

Orientation Video: https://www.wevideo.com/view/1654644008

Registration Video: https://www.wevideo.com/view/1655941362

Registration Form for Students: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=vdNYGNb6YE61OeUm8KqiP9pTS1ljjaZJtmKn3-wk68VUN0hVNktXNlQ2SDVLTTdYSURGWVU1UThNQy4u

Rising 6th grade student information:

Registration Video: https://www.wevideo.com/view/1653422337

Registration Form for Students: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=vdNYGNb6YE61OeUm8KqiP9pTS1ljjaZJtmKn3-wk68VUOU9ZRFBVMFRCSUZOTVpSUkU0V0VXUFdMWi4u

Rising 7th grade student information:

Registration Video: https://www.wevideo.com/view/1655270657

Registration Form for Students: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=vdNYGNb6YE61OeUm8KqiP9pTS1ljjaZJtmKn3-wk68VUN0tZQU1MNzRZTFVDRkVDMlNOVzFPMkxaQy4u

Rising 8th grade student information:

Registration Video: https://www.wevideo.com/view/1653277675

Registration Form for Students: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=vdNYGNb6YE61OeUm8KqiP9pTS1ljjaZJtmKn3-wk68VUMlQ4QTI1WjFGSVo5VlJEN1VaS1RPTDJZRi4u

Finally, I know many are wondering about how to get items from school.  We will begin the collection process of student items from lockers shortly. Once we have completed phase 2 of online learning, we will use the following dates to orchestrate the dropping off of laptops and library books and the picking up of personal items from lockers.  As we get closer to these dates, we will be sharing additional details for the procedure that will be used to successfully execute this event.  You can go ahead and circle your calendar for the following dates, times will be announced at a later date:

May 18 and 19 – 8th grade roll-up of laptops/library books and locker item exchange

May 20 and 21 – 7th grade roll-up of laptops/library books and locker item exchange

May 26 and 27 – 6th grade roll-up of laptops/library books and locker item exchange

May 28 and 29 – 5th grade roll-up of laptops/library books and locker item exchange

There was certainly a lot of information in this week’s Ram Report.  Again, please contact our administrative team by email if you have questions.

All the best to your family, and we will continue to Climb the Mountain!

Kirk W. Renegar, Ed. D.

Principal

Robertsville Middle School

Oak Ridge High School Phase Two Plan

(April 27-May 22)

We here at Oak Ridge High School are deeply saddened that our students will not be returning to our building this school year due to the current health crisis facing our nation. We have been providing all students with extended learning activities through Canvas as part of Phase One . Now that we know our students will not be returning to the building this school year, we will be transitioning into Phase Two.

Determining the Final Average

 Students final average is calculated using the average of the first three grading terms, weighted equally.
 Spring semester only courses will use the third term grade as the final average.
 The student’s final numerical average is listed in Skyward under the FIN heading.
 The student’s final average will not decrease; it can only be improved.

Improving the Final Average in Phase Two

 Teachers will provide weekly assignments in Canvas for students to complete.
 Each set of weekly assignments is worth up to two percentage points added to the student’s final average.
 Students have the opportunity to improve their final average by up to 8 percentage points (2 points per week for four weeks)
 For Standards Based graded courses, the final average grade improvements will be calculated using the four-point scale.
 Weekly assignments for the week are due by 11:59 p.m. on Friday.
 The final average will be finalized in Skyward at the end of Phase 2 on May 22.

For example, if the average of a student’s Algebra I grades for the first three terms is 85% and they successfully completed all four weekly assignments during Phase Two, they would have eight percentage points added to their final grade and their final grade for Algebra I would then be a 93%. We list a letter grade for courses on transcripts and report cards so that 93% is recorded as an A for the course.
We strongly encourage all students to participate in the Phase Two opportunities to improve their final grades. Some of our students may be content with the final grade they have earned in a course by averaging the three term grades, or they may have only a few courses that they want to improve. We strongly encourage all students to participate and stay connected with all their courses even if they choose to prioritize their efforts on the courses where the grades can improve. Again, the final average cannot go down, it can only increase.

Dual Enrollment

We have several Dual Enrollment courses that will be moving forward on a different plan than Phase Two. Because students have the opportunity to earn both college and high school credit in those courses they will continue to have work from their instructor that is graded and calculated into a fourth term grade to be averaged in with the other three term grades. If you have questions about how the final grade will be calculated in these classes, please reach out to the individual instructor.

Special Education/504/English Language Learners

IEP and 504 Accommodations including those for extended time will be followed in Phase 2. Students with extended time on assignments will be required to submit weekly assignments by no later than Tuesday of the following week. All assignments for the final week will be due on Friday, May 22.
If you have questions about Phase Two, please reach out to your child’s teacher or grade level administrator. Thank you for your continued support of our school and your students through these turbulent times.

Martin McDonald, Principal, Oak Ridge High School

Families,

In this extraordinary national emergency, while students are unable to go to school, we hope some of these resources will be helpful as well as enjoyable, and above all, that you and your families stay well and safe.


Tools We Use Daily Including Skyward & Canvas

Online@ORS


Listen to Stories Free on Audible


Online Downloads of Elementary Learning Packets

For all elementary students and families:

Parent Letter

Reading Logs

Grade-Level Math Packets


K-4

Grades 5-8

Grades 9-12


Counseling Resources

Open Enrollment

Due to the current status of school closures due to the national pandemic of COVID-19, the Open Enrollment period of April 6 – 24, 2020, for new tuition and new cross boundary applications for the 2020 – 2021 school year has postponed as this time.  New dates will be posted later.  Please check the Oak Ridge Schools website for updates. If you have questions, please e-mail Dr. Larrissa Henderson lhenderson@ortn.edu

Update to PBS Resources

4/3/2020

TDOE Releases Schedule and Resources for Video Lessons Airing Statewide on PBS starting April 6th

NASHVILLE, TN—The Tennessee Department of Education is partnering with PBS stations across the state to offer 1st-8th grade students up to 30 hours of standards-aligned instructional lessons per week during times of COVID-19 school closures.

“We know so many Tennesseans have grown up learning from public television and are so grateful to PBS for embodying the volunteer spirit and supporting our students in this critical way,” said Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “We are amazed by the response of PBS and Tennessee’s educators to support at-home learning during these unprecedented times.”

Beginning April 6th, thirty-minute segments will air from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. CST each weekday on the main channels of each of the six PBS stations across the state– WNPT Nashville, East Tennessee PBS, WCTE Upper Cumberland, WKNO Memphis, West TN PBS, and Chattanooga WTCI. Additionally, viewers can watch or record up to four more hours of content that will be broadcast overnight.

Broadcast programming, developed by the Tennessee Department of Education in partnership with teachers across the state, will cover English language arts (ELA) and math for first through sixth grades. For seventh and eighth graders, recorded video lessons will be available online starting April 13th.

Accompanying lesson plans and work packets will be posted on the department’s website for teachers and families to use, adapt, and build upon. Access the lesson plans and student work packets at www.tn.gov/education/pbsteaching.

The department will also make all videos available on its YouTube channel after they air.

“It is inspiring to see so many teachers come together to make this possible, and I am honored to be a part of it to provide these lessons for not only my students but also children across the state. As teachers, we are all missing our students and being in the classroom every day together. But just because school buildings are closed, doesn’t mean learning must stop,” said Jessica Alley, 7th grade ELA teacher, Christiana Middle School. “This partnership with PBS is one way we can help give all students access to learning opportunities during this unprecedented time.”

This partnership builds upon several preexisting partnerships that some school districts have with their local PBS station. Local listings will reflect individual station schedules and include programming for additional educational content.

Daytime Schedule: 

  • Monday— 1stand 2nd Grade ELA and Math Lessons
  • 10:00 am CST- 1stGrade ELA
  • 10:30 am CST- 1stGrade Math
  • 11:00 am CST- 2ndGrade ELA
  • 11:30 am CST- 2ndGrade Math
  • Tuesday— 3rd and 4thGrade ELA and Math Lessons
  • 10:00 am CST- 3rdGrade ELA
  • 10:30 am CST- 3rdGrade Math
  • 11:00 am CST- 4thGrade ELA
  • 11:30 am CST- 4thGrade Math
  • Wednesday— 5thand 6th Grade ELA and Math Lessons
  • 10:00 am CST- 5thGrade ELA
  • 10:30 am CST- 5thGrade Math
  • 11:00 am CST- 6thGrade ELA
  • 11:30 am CST- 6thGrade Math
  • Thursday—1st and 2ndGrade ELA and Math Lessons
  • 10:00 am CST- 1stGrade ELA
  • 10:30 am CST- 1stGrade Math
  • 11:00 am CST- 2ndGrade ELA
  • 11:30 am CST- 2ndGrade Math
  • Friday— 3rdand 4th Grade ELA and Math Lessons
  • 10:00 am CST- 3rdGrade ELA
  • 10:30 am CST- 3rdGrade Math
  • 11:00 am CST- 4thGrade ELA
  • 11:30 am CST- 4thGrade Math

Overnight Schedule:

Recorded videos covering ELA and Math for grades first through sixth will stream from 1 a.m.- 5 a.m. CST Monday through Friday beginning the week of April 6th.

Online: 

  • Lesson plans and student work packets:  tn.gov/education/pbsteaching
  • 7th Grade- ELA and Math Lessons starting the week of April 16th
  • 8th Grade- ELA and Math Lessons starting the week of April 16th

Other guidance documents and resources developed specifically for district and school leaders are available on the Tennessee Department of Education’s coronavirus webpage: https://www.tn.gov/education/health-and-safety/update-on-coronavirus.html.

TDOE Announces Partnership with PBS to  

Deliver Daily Instructional Content for Tennessee Students 

 

Nashville, TN—The Tennessee Department of Education secured a partnership with the state’s PBS stations to deliver daily instructional content for Tennessee students during COVID-19 school closures. This partnership will provide all students with access to daily learning opportunities right in their own homes. 

 

Staring April 6, Tennessee’s six PBS stations— WNPT Nashville, East Tennessee PBS, WCTE Upper Cumberland, WKNO Memphis, West TN PBS, and Chattanooga WTCI— will deliver two hours of programming with high-quality instructional content from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. CST. Four hours of content will also be streamed overnight, which viewers can watch live or record. 

 

The content will be developed and provided by Tennessee educators in partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education and meets a critical need to ensure all students have access to high-quality learning opportunities, regardless if their home has internet connectivity or capable devices. 

 

“This is an incredible example of Tennesseans coming together to support kids,” said Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “We are so thrilled to be partnering with PBS stations across the state to make high-quality instructional content available to all students so they can continue learning during school closures. Families and students are hungry for content right now, and we are grateful our local stations have stepped up to help fill this need.” 

 

This statewide partnership builds on the work many of Tennessee’s public TV stations have already been doing with local districts to provide instructional programming during school closures.  

 

“Tennessee’s Public Television Stations are committed to serving the citizens of Tennessee and look forward to working with the Tennessee Department of Education during this challenging time to provide instructional educational programs to the students of our state,” said Vickie Lawson, Chairman of Tennessee Public Television Council and President of East Tennessee PBS. “This partnership is another example of Tennessee’s Public Television Stations willingness to serve when needed.” 

 

“This new partnership with the Tennessee Department of Education will work to meet our shared mission of ensuring every child is inspired and educated, regardless of their circumstances.” said Becky Magura, President & CEO, WCTE Cookeville. “This programming will help ensure students without access to the internet or other instructional materials will still have access to high quality instruction during these school closures. For decades, we have been committed to inspiring and educating students for decades, and now more than ever, those services are critical.”  

 

For additional Tennessee Department of Education guidance related to COVID-19, visit https://www.tn.gov/education/health-and-safety/update-on-coronavirus.html.   

 

TDOE, Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation Partner with ReadyRosie to Provide

Free Early Education Resources to Families 

 

NASHVILLE, TN— The Tennessee Department of Education and Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF) announced a statewide partnership with ReadyRosie, an early education online platform, to provide short videos and free resources with simple, engaging activities for Tennessee families and children, ages birth through 3rd grade, to do at home. 

 

Through this partnership, all families with school-aged children in Tennessee will have access to ReadyRosie Modeled Moment videos, which equips them with simple and fun activities to help their children learn while at home. Around two minutes long in both English and Spanish, the video “moments” feature real families demonstrating instructional activities that parents can then replicate with their own children and are rooted in learning goals for children on topics such as literacy, early math, health and well-being.  

 

“As we continue to navigate these challenging times, we are excited to provide all Tennessee families with access to this incredible platform to help them create rich learning experiences at home,” said Education Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “The ReadyRosie platform is another resource from the state to help families engage with their children during this time by doing simple, instructional activities at home while promoting learning and bonding with their children.” 

 

The ReadyRosie platform will be available for Tennessee families from April 1 through September 1. Families can easily register for free today here, https://readyrosie.com/tn/, and can sign up to receive weekly text messages or emails with curated playlists of activities. 

 

“Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation is committed to continuing the important work of our early literacy programs and partnerships, especially during this unique and challenging time,” said James Pond, GELF President. “As we respond in ways that continue to fulfill our mission to support the children and families we serve in Tennessee, we are excited to partner with ReadyRosie to provide families with quality online resources to help children develop early literacy skills through reading and learning together.” 

 

For more information about ReadyRosie, visit the website and watch this video. Tennessee parents can register for free here: https://readyrosie.com/tn/ 

 

For additional TDOE guidance related to COVID-19, visit https://www.tn.gov/education/health-and-safety/update-on-coronavirus.html.   

 

### 

 

About Tennessee Department of Education 

At the Tennessee Department of Education, we are committed to accelerating student growth through excellence in achievement, empowerment of students and teachers, and engagement of all members of our education community. Tennessee is divided into 147 districts with both significant urban and rural populations.  As a department, we are dedicated to setting all students on a path to success. Learn more about Tennessee’s Best for All strategic plan at bestforall.tnedu.gov 

 

About Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation 

The mission of Governor’s Early Literacy Foundation (GELF) is to strengthen early literacy in Tennessee by acting as a thought leader, advisor and catalyst for programs statewide. These programs include Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, Storybook Trails, Book Buses, K-3rd Grade Summer Reading and Caregiver Engagement. GELF was founded in 2004 by former Gov. Phil Bredesen as a public-private partnership to sustain Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in Tennessee, giving all birth to age five children the opportunity to receive books in the mail at no cost to families. GELF has grown from solely a book-gifting program to an early literacy organization driven by a vision where all Tennessee children have access to the resources, guidance and support they need to become lifelong learners. For more information, visit www.GovernorsFoundation.org or www.facebook.com/GovEarlyLiteracyTN, or call toll-free at (877) 99-BOOKS.

Kindergarten Registration

Packet drop- off May 11- 15 from 1-4 pm at Glenwood Elementary School 

Please bring copies of the following information when you bring your packet back on May 11-15:

  • Child’s birth certificate (8/15/2015)
  • Child’s social security card
  • Health Insurance provider
  • Proof of residence
  • Immunization records on TN state form with current physical (dated 2020)

Click the links below to download PDFs for registration at Woodland Elementary School

Woodland Elementary Kindergarten Registration Packet

Woodland Elementary 1st – 4th Grade Registration Packet

You may also pick up hard copies of these packets at the school at these times:

Folder pick-up May 4 – 8, anytime (Folders in box under the porch in front of the school)

Folder drop-off May 11 – 15 from 1 – 4pm.

Woodland Elementary School

Please bring copies of the following information when you bring your folder back on May 11-15:

  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Child’s social security card
  • Health Insurance provider
  • Proof of residence
  • Immunization records on TN state form with current

Physical (dated 2020)

Free learning materials for every child when you drop off your folder!

Kindergarten Registration WL

Hello!

Because of the current situation, we have unfortunately had to cancel our Spring Orientation. Yet, we realize that parents and students receive so much information about Jefferson Middle School at this event that we had to find a way to create a digital version to provide as much information as we could. So welcome to the 2020-2021 Orientation and Registration page!

To see the Curriculum Course Guide and how to register for electives, click on one of the following links:

To see the Orientation videos for 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, click see below.

5th Grade

JMS 5th Grade Open House Flyer with Video 2020-2021  (Click to open handout)

6th Grade

JMS 6th grade Open House Flyer with video 2020-2021 (Click to open handout)

7th Grade

JMS 7th grade Open House Flyer with Video Links 2020-2021 (Click to open handout)

8th Grade

JMS 8th grade Open House Flyer with video links 2020-2021 (Click to open handout)

Important Information about Student Registration

Robertsville Middle School has started online registration for the 2020-2021 school year. We are asking that everyone submit the online registration for their student by May 1. Please email our school counselors Ms. Kristy Best at kbest@ortn.edu or Ms. Tarah Sanford at tasanford@ortn.edu if you have any questions or concerns.

Rising 5th grade student information:

Rising 6th grade student information:

Rising 7th grade student information:

Rising 8th grade student information:

Students Who Take Courses at RSCC

In response to the coronavirus outbreak and continued public health concerns, all Roane State campuses will extend spring break for students through March 22. Faculty and staff will use this time to prepare for transitioning to an all-online teaching environment when classes resume on March 23.

Courses will remain online through at least March 29, with the possibility of continuing online beyond that date. In the interest of safety, students will not be on any campus during this time. These steps place us on level two of Roane State’s Pandemic Preparedness Plan.

Additional measures include:

  • Cancelation or postponement of all on-campus events beginning March 16 through March 29
  • Cancelation of all planned international travel, including study abroad programs to Italy, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands
  • Cancelation of all out-of-state travel for college personnel during the month of March
  • Dual enrollment courses taught at area high schools will follow Roane State’s adjusted schedule and any potential schedule adjustment made by the respective high school system

Alternative arrangements will be made for any Roane State courses that are unable to move completely online, which could include a delay and extension of the semester. The same will be true for any student who is unable to take courses in a distance learning format. You can find information about Distance Education and Momentum (or D2L) on our website. Students and faculty may login to Momentum at the following link: https://elearn.roanestate.edu/d2l/login.

The health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, their families, and the broader communities we serve are the top priority as we make this decision. While there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 on any of our campuses right now, we hope taking these steps will help prevent that from occurring.

We are doing everything in our power to make this transition as smooth as possible, but we know there will be unforeseen issues. We ask for your patience and understanding while we work to keep everyone safe during this unprecedented situation.

Students, we encourage you to reach out to your instructors and academic advisors if you have any concerns. For faculty and staff, please contact your academic dean or your direct supervisor with questions. Additional information will follow this message.

We are continuing to monitor information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Tennessee Department of Health regarding coronavirus. Any additional actions or precautions taken by the college in response to the outbreak will be done in coordination with the Tennessee Board of Regents, with guidance from our state and local health departments.

We will be keeping you informed via RaiderAlert text and email messages, general college email, social media, and our website. If you have not yet signed up for RaiderAlerts, you can do so here: https://www.roanestate.edu/raideralert.

Please visit www.roanestate.edu/coronavirus for the most up-to-date information from the college as well as resources from the CDC about protecting yourself from the virus.

From Dr. Chris Whaley

Additional notes: all campuses will be closed when classes resume in an online format on March 23. Only essential personnel will be permitted on campus after that point until at least March 29. Additional information is forthcoming from college vice presidents.

TCAT night welding classes have been moved to an online model beginning next week. Students, look for communication from TCAT regarding course content and expectations for the remainder of the term.

TDOE and TSIN Release STEAM Resources for At-Home Learning

NASHVILLE, TN—The Tennessee Department of Education and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network (TSIN) today released a STE(A)M Resource Hub for educators and families to use with students during COVID-19 related school closures.

The STE(A)M Resource Hub includes three weekly challenges around design activities, critical thinking, and career exploration that can all be done in the home. The challenges, created in partnership with TSIN educators from across the state, are ideal for students grades 3-12, but younger students can also participate with parental assistance. The STE(A)M Resource Hub also includes a portal for parents or educators to ask questions and receive additional support.

“Our school buildings may be closed, but the STE(A)M Resource Hub is another great example that learning can and will continue,” said Commissioner Penny Schwinn. “I am thrilled the department is partnering with TSIN to provide these resources to help students keep learning, dreaming, and exploring during this time. Again and again, Tennesseans are proving we will come together to give our kids opportunities—despite challenging circumstances.”

“The Tennessee STEM Innovation Network is committed to continuing the important work of our STEM programs and partnerships, especially during this unique and challenging time. This crisis further highlights the critical nature of STEM education,” said Brandi Stroecker Director of Tennessee STEM Innovation Network. “Guiding students to be empathic listeners, inquisitive questioners, and innovative problem solvers prepares them to solve the pressing issues of tomorrow and to serve as the leaders of their generation.  We are excited to partner with the Tennessee Department of Education to provide families with strong online STE(A)M resources to help children continue to experience new learning at home while promoting the importance of failing forward and developing a growth mindset.”

The three weekly challenges enable students to keep building their STE(A)M skills while learning from home. Each challenge comes with a step-by-step directions for the activity, as well as additional resources to continue exploring the topic. Families and educators are encouraged to use the corresponding hashtags to share their work on social media:

  • #MakerMonday: Resources focus on design activities for students using common objects found around the home to solve real-world challenges.
  • #WonderWednesday: Resources include researching and responding to essay prompts, examining data and drawing conclusions, and/or designing an experiment to answer a question.
  • #FutureFriday: Virtual resources for students to explore STEM careers.  Students will experience virtual tours of STEM workplaces, video interviews of Tennesseans in interesting STEM careers, and explore the world of work.

“The field of STEM careers is vast and steadily growing- it doesn’t only mean being a mathematician or scientist. As Billie Jean King put it, ‘You have to see it to be it.’ Students and parents need to know all of the wonderful opportunities that are available out there within STE(A)M. Using this time at home to take virtual field trips and research possible careers is an excellent way to help students see all of the opportunities out there and to plan their future,” said Amanda McClusky, CTE Advisor for Shelby County Schools.

“The importance of STEM education for students has never been more important as parents are looking for creative ways to engage their children. Providing MakerSpace opportunities allows students to repurpose items they have at home that will engage in 21st Century learning. It is very important for educators to ensure challenges are created that will capture the imagination of students to become critical thinkers, collaborate with family, use creativity, and communicate their results to others,” said Ben Bruce, STEM Coordinator at Sumner County Schools. 

“In the great state of Tennessee, we are fortunate to have leaders, such as the Department of Education and TSIN, forging new routes for students, families, and teachers to practice persistence and thinking flexibly as we continue to strive for excellence,” said Lea Bartch, Gifted Coordinator of Murfreesboro City Schools. “STEM thinking demonstrates that our success or failure is determined by the habits of mind, and these resources will help students continue developing strong habits that nurture wonder and curiosity.”

The STE(A)M Resource Hub is one more learning resource the department is providing to families and educators during school building closures—including free access for all families to early education platform ReadyRosie, daily instruction content available on Tennessee’s PBS stations, along with other guidance documents and resources developed specifically for district and school leaders available on the Tennessee Department of Education’s coronavirus webpage: https://www.tn.gov/education/health-and-safety/update-on-coronavirus.html.

TDOE Launches Survey to Solicit Public Feedback on Federal CARES Act

NASHVILLE, TN— The Tennessee Department of Education has released a public survey seeking feedback from all stakeholders on the most effective ways to help school districts address immediate needs to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.   

  

H.R. 748, the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, And Economic Security Act” (CARES Act) is federal legislation to provide $2 trillion in emergency relief in response to COVID-19 and includes $30.75 billion nationally for Education Stabilization Funding.   

  

Tennessee school districts are eligible to receive one-time relief funding, once it becomes available, based on their Title I formula percentages. Each state will be required to submit a plan that the US Department of Education must approve in order to receive funding, and the federal application is expected to open mid-April. Due to this timeline, the deadline to complete the survey is Monday, April 13.  

  

“For the past few weeks, we have been in frequent contact with superintendents and school leaders across the state, and there is no doubt that these one-time federal relief funds for education will be welcomed and critical,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Penny Schwinn.  

  

“The department is making every effort to position our state to get funding to districts as soon as possible. Our districts and educators are working hard to support students in this new distance format, and that is why I waived the 180 instructional days requirement this year following the passage of the General Assembly’s legislation last month. The department will remain laser focused on helping ensure districts have the resources they need to continue to serve the children of Tennessee.”  

  

The survey questions are intended to help the Department understand local needs as well as potential investments and supports that could be offered to local school districts. That includes gaining insight and input from all stakeholders in order to draft a strong plan and application for the federal government.   

  

The department’s efforts on the federal CARES Act is the next step in a series of state efforts to help schools and districts respond to the coronavirus pandemic and continue instruction and critical services that all students deserve.   

  

Last month, the Tennessee General Assembly passed Public Chapter 652 to ensure no student, teacher, or school is adversely impacted by COVID-19 related school closures.   

  

The United States Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, And Economic Security (CARES) Act, which includes one-time relief funding for local school districts, intended to address challenges of providing education during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

  

The public survey can be accessed here:  

https://stateoftennessee.formstack.com/forms/public_cares_survey?mc_cid=677ba20efa&mc_eid=502f6811d6  

TSSAA asked that we share the following announcement from them regarding spring sports.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and Spring Sports

March 17, 2020

5:00 p.m.

On Monday March 16, Governor Lee released the following statement:

As the response to COVID-19 evolves, I urge every school district in Tennessee to close as soon as practically possible, with all schools expected to close by Friday, March 20, 2020 at the latest. Schools should remain closed through March 31, 2020 to further mitigate the spread of this infectious disease and we will issue further guidance prior to March 31. Superintendents and local leadership have the full support of my administration to determine effective dates for closure this week as they evaluate what is best for families within their respective districts. We understand the tremendous burden school closure places on families and we will continue to work with both the federal government and school districts to ensure we continue essential supports like meals for students in need. Every Tennessean has a role to play in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and I urge Tennesseans to be quick to help neighbors as new needs surface with the closure of schools.

 We have checked with the Governor’s office and have confirmed that his statement applies to all school-related activities including athletics.

TSSAA does not regulate the scheduling of regular season games or practices. However, consistent with the Governor’s statement, and in the interest of the health and safety of competitors, coaches, officials, and spectators, we urge every member school – both public and independent – to follow the Governor’s recommendation and suspend interscholastic athletics through March 31, 2020. This suspension should include games, scrimmages, practices, and organized workouts or conditioning.

We will continue to follow developments related to this public health concern as they evolve and will send out additional notices of any further actions or recommendations related to interscholastic athletics.

2020-05-21T18:53:09-04:00March 2nd, 2020|District News, School News|
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